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      06-22-2016, 09:56 AM   #1
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DEAD! Engine failure. RIP 2012 E82 N55

My car just ticked over 100,000 miles on last Thursday. I drove to bank to pay the car off on Friday. Literally on the way into the bank, the car stalled out.

That was due to a failed high-pressure fuel pump, which was replaced over the weekend for $1100.

The car had been making a knocking sort of woodpecker sound at around 2000 to 2500 RPM. Mechanic didn't really hear it, but I heard it again even worse the day after taking the car home. Drove back to mechanic yesterday. Knocking sound was much worse. All the mechanics gathered around to listen. It felt like being at the hospital, and all of the doctors wanting to gather around to see because it's so fascinating and horrible. Never a good sign.

Final word is some sort of internal mechanical failure. The oil looks like it has glitter in it from all of the metal.

So now I have to decide if I want to replace the engine at around $9000, or scrap the car and move on. Replacing it with an equivalent will cost $20-$25,000. I'm inclined to repair so that I have what I know is a good engine with a warranty, and keep the car. Anybody have any thoughts or recommendations? Speaking of words that rhyme with recommendations, donations are also welcome.
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      06-22-2016, 12:55 PM   #2
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Depends on how much you like the car and how much money you have to spend. For me, its a blessing in disguise. I tend to grow tired of cars around the 3-4 year mark. Even with the engine replaced, things might go wrong with that and your bill becomes bigger. The driving experience is more of the same.

If you really like the car, then repair it. If you don't like the car but don't want to spend $20-25k, then repair it. If you don't like the car, then replace it.
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      06-22-2016, 01:51 PM   #3
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100,000 miles on a 2012 and the engine is dead? What type of maintenance schedule was done on this car?

With that many miles in that short of time frame, it would seem a lot of highway driving would have been done, which is normally easy on an engine.
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      06-22-2016, 03:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Iron Man View Post
100,000 miles on a 2012 and the engine is dead? What type of maintenance schedule was done on this car?

With that many miles in that short of time frame, it would seem a lot of highway driving would have been done, which is normally easy on an engine.
I bought the car about a year ago used with 87,000 miles on it. I was able to get some maintenance information that showed that oil changes were made at the recommended times, and no other repairs made.

I have had the oil changed about every 6000 miles since then.
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      06-22-2016, 04:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by hotchicken View Post
I bought the car about a year ago used with 87,000 miles on it. I was able to get some maintenance information that showed that oil changes were made at the recommended times, and no other repairs made.

I have had the oil changed about every 6000 miles since then.
"Recommended" would have been 15,000 miles I believe. No way I would go that long on any N55 engine. Is there a lot of sludge/varnish in the engine?
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      06-22-2016, 06:06 PM   #6
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Yes, he changed it at 15,000 miles on schedule.

No sludge that I'm aware of. Oil always looks clean.
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      06-22-2016, 07:38 PM   #7
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Did you see the engine with the cover off? Or are you just talking about how the oil looks after you drain it out?

Your used oil looks clean? Have you done a UOA?
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      06-22-2016, 08:22 PM   #8
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I have not seen it with the cover off. The oil looks terrible now, but that's after the doom.

My independent mechanic is very well regarded, and has not noted anything that seemed off about the car.

Honestly, there has always been what I called a slight rumble at 2000-2500 rpm when accelerating. This knocking noise is at the same rpm. I suspect that rumble was the warning re this failure.
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      06-22-2016, 08:27 PM   #9
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You might ask your insurance agent if any of this could be covered under the comp. I would also contact BMW NA. Something doesn't sound right to me. 100K miles is way too early for these engines to fail. Unless it was tuned and beat to death by the previous owner(s).

You might even see what a BMW dealer would give you IF you traded her in on something newer.
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      06-22-2016, 10:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
You might ask your insurance agent if any of this could be covered under the comp. I would also contact BMW NA. Something doesn't sound right to me. 100K miles is way too early for these engines to fail. Unless it was tuned and beat to death by the previous owner(s).

You might even see what a BMW dealer would give you IF you traded her in on something newer.
Good ideas. Thank you.
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      06-23-2016, 07:12 AM   #11
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Something doesn't sound right to me. 100K miles is way too early for these engines to fail. Unless it was tuned and beat to death by the previous owner(s).
Agreed. Either the engine was a lemon or it was beat to death/neglected. If the oil was only changed every 15,000 miles and the previous owner was running track days/racing, I can see where something could fail early.
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      06-23-2016, 07:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Man View Post
Agreed. Either the engine was a lemon or it was beat to death/neglected. If the oil was only changed every 15,000 miles and the previous owner was running track days/racing, I can see where something could fail early.
Car was sold by the local dealer here in Nashville who had service records for those oil changes at 15k miles. Carfax noted service at one other Indy shop closer to where the owner lived for some regular service also.

Bought car from a Nissan dealer near Mobile, Alabama who bought from auction. Now, it did mysteriously sit on their lot for a year. They claimed it was just not a car that moved well down there. Sounded weird, but the car checked out ok and drove great (but for that slight vibration at 2000-2500 rpm that I now think was an early sign of doom).

No mods on the car before my JB4 and intake. I stepped on it only on the interstate, which was minimal since that put me at 110+ MPH pretty quickly.

I do wonder now of the dealer knew something. How would I prove that though?
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      06-23-2016, 07:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotchicken View Post
Car was sold by the local dealer here in Nashville who had service records for those oil changes at 15k miles. Carfax noted service at one other Indy shop closer to where the owner lived for some regular service also.

Bought car from a Nissan dealer near Mobile, Alabama who bought from auction. Now, it did mysteriously sit on their lot for a year. They claimed it was just not a car that moved well down there. Sounded weird, but the car checked out ok and drove great (but for that slight vibration at 2000-2500 rpm that I now think was an early sign of doom).

No mods on the car before my JB4 and intake. I stepped on it only on the interstate, which was minimal since that put me at 110+ MPH pretty quickly.

I do wonder now of the dealer knew something. How would I prove that though?
I don't think you can prove anything. Not trying to be a jerk, but that is one of the pitfalls of buying a used car with a lot of miles.
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      06-23-2016, 07:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Man View Post
I don't think you can prove anything. Not trying to be a jerk, but that is one of the pitfalls of buying a used car with a lot of miles.
I tend to like cars that are more expensive than I want to pay for, so I buy with higher miles. I have had auction connections to do that, and have always come out ahead before. This was not auction, but it was a good deal. First time I've lost on one, and it's a doozy for sure. I think I will do some deeper digging though.
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      06-23-2016, 08:20 AM   #15
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87,000 miles is not a lot of miles on a BMW engine. It's barely broken in. Of course if it was neglected, that's another matter.

It's usually a better bet to buy a used BMW from a BMW dealer because they a reputation to maintain. Buy a used Ford from a Ford dealer ..etc...

To your point about keeping it. I would try to trade it or sell it as is to a mechanic? Mechanics have the time to work on it at their leisure.
Good luck.
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      06-23-2016, 08:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA135i View Post
87,000 miles is not a lot of miles on a BMW engine. It's barely broken in. Of course if it was neglected, that's another matter.

It's usually a better bet to buy a used BMW from a BMW dealer because they a reputation to maintain. Buy a used Ford from a Ford dealer ..etc...

To your point about keeping it. I would try to trade it or sell it as is to a mechanic? Mechanics have the time to work on it at their leisure.
Good luck.
I have definitely learned some lessons. Mechanic offered $4000 for the car as is. I figure if I spend the $9000 to fix it and have a three-year warranty on the engine from the seller, I have a car that is worth in the $15,000-$19,000 range.

Obviously, I could just take the $4000 and go buy a new or nearly new car. I just don't want a $600 payment.
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      06-23-2016, 08:43 AM   #17
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15k oil changes are the most likely problem. There is a reason why BMW has switched to 10k oil changes now.
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      06-23-2016, 09:18 AM   #18
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My car had it's first oil change at 1,200 miles. Up to 80K I changed it at 7,500 miles. Since then it's been every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. I have had to add less than 1 quart of oil in 100K. Car now has 107K. I think the engine is the strong point of the 135.
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      06-23-2016, 09:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA135i View Post
My car had it's first oil change at 1,200 miles. Up to 80K I changed it at 7,500 miles. Since then it's been every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. I have had to add less than 1 quart of oil in 100K. Car now has 107K. I think the engine is the strong point of the 135.
By the time my new 135i hd 15K miles... I had changed the oil FIVE times! Once at 600 miles, at 1,200 miles, and 2,500 miles, 5K miles, 10K, and then at 15K. I know... some people think that's over kill... but I've always said oil changes are cheaper then new engines. And I always do my own oil changes - bc then I know it was done right!
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      06-23-2016, 09:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I think the engine is the strong point of the 135.
Yes, as long a proper maintenance is performed. Based on the UOA's I've seen, the N54/N55 can be pretty hard on oil, such that the additives can be spent easily at the 7-8,000 mile mark. I've never seen one after 15,000 miles, and I would never go that long to ever generate one.

Though not statistical evidence, but the fact that this engine went that long between oil changes and then died at 100,000 miles is proof to me to never follow the factory OCI maintenance schedule on the N54/N55.
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      06-23-2016, 11:37 AM   #21
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6000 km changes for me.
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      06-23-2016, 12:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
By the time my new 135i hd 15K miles... I had changed the oil FIVE times! Once at 600 miles, at 1,200 miles, and 2,500 miles, 5K miles, 10K, and then at 15K. I know... some people think that's over kill...
Talk about overkill -- my car had it's 5th oil change done at 4370 miles (all done by dealer at the request of the original owner before I took possession). This includes one done at *delivery* with 3 miles on the odometer. Used oil samples were saved for later analysis.
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